2012 Convention Highlights

“Voices Rising from the Land”
“Addressing the Threats to Independent Family Agriculture.”

August 10, 2012 – 14th Annual OCM Food and Agriculture Conference, Kansas City, MO

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Welcome, Introductions, Opening Remarks
Fred Stokes, OCM President

(From Left to Right) Fred Stokes, J. Dudley Butler, Bob Taylor and Bill Bullard

J. Dudley Butler – GIPSA Rule
Butler has recently returned to the practice of law after spending almost three years as administrator of GPSA. He was appointed to this position by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack.
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Bob Taylor – Failing of the Regulatory Agencies
Taylor is the Alfa Eminent Scholar (Distinguished University Professor) in Agricultural Economics and Public Policy in the College of Ag at Auburn University.
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Bill Bullard – Abuse of Checkoff Funds
Bullard is the Chief Executive Officer of R-CALF USA and the 2012 Helmuth Award recipient.
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Patty Lovera is the Assistant Director of Food and Water Watch.
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Litigation ANNOUNCEMENT – Dan Owen, Attorney
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Lawsuit filed August 10, 2012
Callicrate vs. USDA – Lawsuit claims that Beef Checkoff is paying for Lobbying.
Mike Callicrate is the named plaintiff in the lawsuit filed against the US Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service, Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) and the CBB’s Beef Promotion Operating Committee. Callicrate is a cattle producer and the owner of a meat packing facility and retail market called Ranch Direct Foods in Colorado Springs, Colo. He was also elected at the membership meeting as president of OCM.

Specifically, the lawsuit alleges that the NCBA receives a large majority of checkoff funded projects. The lawsuit alleges that the CBB operating committee awards the contracts to NCBA while the CBB is controlled by NCBA. Callicrate alleges that NCBA is approving their own funding from the CBB for their own benefit and for the purpose of promoting an industrial model of beef production, processing and distribution – harming both producers and consumers.

Barry Lynn is an expert in the political and economic dangers posed by extreme concentration of economic power and industrial capacity. His groundbreaking work detailing how concentration can destabilize vital industrial systems has attracted the attention of officials and executives around the world. He has written several books, published in various magazines and is a regular commentator on television and radio.
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BANQUET SPEAKER – Bill Heffernan – “The Looming Corporate Plantation”
Heffernan has focused on the social causes and consequences of changes in agriculture and the food system. He spent all but two years at the University of Missouri where he became professor and served as Chair of the Department of Rural Sociology and is now Professor Emeritus.
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HELMUTH AWARD PRESENTATION (From left to Right – Bill Bullard and Mike Callicrate)
OCM Presented BILL BULLARD, The John Helmuth Award for his unrelenting pursuit of competition and fairness in agricultural markets, for his advocacy of independent family farms and ranches, and for his tireless defense of our nation’s food security.

Bill Bullard is the Chief Executive Officer of the Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America (R-CALF USA) and has held this position since 2001. R-CALF USA represents its members on issues concerning international trade and marketing and its purposes include representing its members’ interests before Congress, agencies of the federal government, and in court.

Fred and Claudia Stokes – Announced celebrating their 55th Anniversary. Congratulations